Trial of Thai union workers' rights activist, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, resumes
Thursday 19 April 2012, 03pm
Yesterday, Wednesday, 18 April, the trial of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, well known editor
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and long time labour rights activist, resumed in Bangkok and will continue until 4 May.
Somyot was arrested on 30 April 2011 following publication in his magazine of two articles which the authorities claim offended the country's ruling monarch. He was accused of 'lèse majesté', a crime that carries up to 30 years of imprisonment, and has been refused bail on
eight separate occasions.
The Clean Clothes Campaign will send an observer to attend the trial during the last week of April. She has over 30 years experience working on Asia development and human rights issues and will join observers sent by the International Committee for Jurists (ICJ) and the EU mission.
The Global Union Federation ICEM (International Chemical, Engineering and Mining Workers) launched a public campaign to request Somyot's release.
Please take action today by signing and sending a protest letter to the Thai Prime Minister -
In an open letter to the Thai authorities last February CCC, together with several other key groups, including FIDH (Federation International de Droits de L'Homme), Forum Asia and Protection International, reiterated its serious concerns about the ongoing use of the lèse
majesté law, particularly against human rights defenders, and its deleterious effect on fundamental freedoms.
CCC continues to call upon the Thai authorities to honour its numerous commitments to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms made under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and during the Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record in October 2011. CCC also asks the authorities to drop all charges against Somyot
Prueksakasemsuk and all other human rights defenders detained through the lèse majesté laws and, more generally, guarantee that all human rights defenders in Thailand are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of
restrictions, including judicial harassment.
We also continue to urge the Thai authorities to facilitate the review of the lèse majesté laws by the Law Reform Commission and the National Human Rights Commission’s working group on the lèse majesté law with an aim to develop concrete proposals to bring the relevant laws into line with Thailand's international human rights obligations, as recommended by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and to request the court to refrain from bringing new charges against individuals under the lèse majesté laws pending a comprehensive review of the said laws.
For more information and regular updates from the trial, please go to: www.freesomyot.wordpress.com
Clean Clothes Campaign
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